Fact Checked

What are the Best Tips to Stop Adware?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

The best ways to stop adware are to install a reputable anti-virus program and avoid and uninstall existing advertising-supported software. Installing a reputable anti-virus program, especially if it is part of a fuller Internet security package, will reduce the likelihood of downloading adware by accident, in addition to making removal easier. Avoiding and uninstalling advertising-supported software that comes bundled with ads is a method of stopping adware that can often get past anti-virus programs. Advertising-supported software is frequently advertised as freeware, but the free version shows ads when the program starts up. In addition to showing ads for other products, the software program might also attempt to convince the user to upgrade to the paid version of the program.

Adware often comes in the form of stand-alone popups, meaning they are not part of advertising-supported software. This kind of adware is often easily blocked with an anti-virus program. While adware is usually not considered a virus, it is frequently stopped by these programs anyway. To stop adware that got past an anti-virus program, the computer user might try downloading a reputable program specifically meant to uninstall adware. Some malware programs are designed to look like adware removers, however, so caution is necessary when downloading a new program to avoid compromising computer security.

Reputable programs may be downloaded to remove adware from a computer.
Reputable programs may be downloaded to remove adware from a computer.

If the adware is bundled into a useful program that the computer user wants to keep, it might be time to find another program that can perform the same tasks but is actually free with no catches. Failing that, the user can look for similar programs that must be paid for but do not use adware as a gimmick to sell products. If no similar product is found, the user can always settle with paying for the advertising-supported software, but this generally only encourages people to use adware. There is almost always a software program with similar or even better capabilities than the one supported by adware.

Lastly, if the adware is bundled into a software program that has outlived its welcome, the user can simply uninstall it. This can be accomplished by ending the program and then following the operating system’s usual method of removing programs or using an uninstaller. Removing advertising-supported adware in this way should stop adware, but if it does not, another program might be at fault. In this case, running an adware remover can prove useful. It is important to remember that adware is often harmless besides being annoying, so it is okay to take a while to figure out how to stop it.

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Discussion Comments


A computer technician at work recommended several different adware removal programs, most of which were free to download. Sometimes free isn't really free, though. A few of them keep putting pop-up ads of their own, recommending that I upgrade to a paid adware and spyware remover service. If the upgrade is expensive, I usually delete the free program and install something else.

The technician also recommended downloading a program called a "decrappifier" and running it whenever you get a new computer. It detects and removes trial programs, pre-installed games and other items that are unnecessary and bloated. Once you remove all of those memory hogging programs, a lot of adware and spyware goes with them.


I have a standing rule not to download any free adware and spyware removal program that appears after I get hit with a pop-up ad or a virus. I just assume the appearance of the pop-up and the adware removal tool are not a coincidence. I only install adware blockers designed by reputable software companies.

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    • Reputable programs may be downloaded to remove adware from a computer.
      By: jamdesign
      Reputable programs may be downloaded to remove adware from a computer.